Bread | Food | Bread is a staple food prepared by baking a dough of flour and water and ingredients, sometimes complementary. Dough is usually cooked, but in some steamed bread is cooked (eg Mantua), fried (Puri), or not cooked on an oiled pan (eg, tortillas). It can be lifted or not lifted. Salt, fat and leavening agents like baking powder and baking soda are common ingredients, but the bread may contain other ingredients such as milk, eggs, sugar, spices, fruits (like raisins ), vegetables (like onion), nuts (like walnuts) or seeds (like poppies). Familiarly designated the "staff of life" was prepared bread at least 30,000 years. The development of leavened bread can probably also be traced back to prehistoric times. Sometimes the word bread refers to a cake of sweet bread, which contains often appealing ingredients such as nuts, chocolate chips, nuts or spices, such as pumpkin bread, banana bread or gingerbread.

Fresh bread is prized for its taste, aroma, quality, appearance and texture. Maintaining freshness is important to keep the appetite. Bread that has stiffened or passé drying is said to be defective. Modern bread is sometimes wrapped in paper or plastic wrap or stored in a container such as a basket to reduce drying. The bread is kept warm and moist is prone to mold growth. Bread stored at low temperature in the refrigerator for example, develop mold growth more slowly than bread kept at room temperature, but become obsolete quickly due to degradation.


The soft, inner part of bread is known to bakers and other culinary professionals as the crumb, which is not to be confused with small bits of bread that often fall off, called crumbs. The outer hard portion of bread is called the crust.

Bread is a food essentially made from flour, water and salt that has been kneaded, allowed to rise, shaped or molded, and cooked in the oven. Bread can contain a fermenting agent that makes it rise (a sourdough starter or yeast), or have none, in which case it is an unleavened bread (such as the Middle Eastern "pita" or the Indian "chapati," etc.).


A "starter" is a portion of uncooked, fermented dough removed from a previous mixture. It is made up of yeasts and bacteria. To make a starter, 0.25 oz (7 g) of dried yeast is dissolved in 21/2 cups (600 ml) of lukewarm water with 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of sugar. Two cups (500 ml) of hot water and about 1/2 lb (250 g) of white flour are added. The resulting dough is covered with a cloth and left to ferment for 3-5 days away from drafts. The starter is acidic, which prevents the development of pathogenic bacteria (those that lead to infections or illness). It must be used within a week, and flour and lukewarm water need to be added to it if one wishes to extend its storage life. In a recipe, 1⁄2 cup (125 ml) of starter replaces 0.25 oz (7 g) of dried yeast. Starters are now commonly replaced by baker's yeast (also called "brewer's yeast"), which is easier to use and acts more quickly and consistently.

Yeast is composed of microscopic fungi; like a starter, it is a living culture. Yeast feeds on sugar (the sugar added to the dough or the starch in the flour). It converts this sugar into carbon dioxide and alcohol, which stay trapped in the gluten. Gluten has the property of holding the gas produced by the fermentation of the dough, which makes it rise. During cooking, the alcohol evaporates, and the bubbles of gas trapped in the dough form cells; this gas will be dislodged by the environmental air when the bread cools. A sourdough starter also transforms starch, but because it contains a greater number of lactic acid bacteria, it does not produce as much alcohol. 


Bread that uses a starter (sourdough bread) does not rise as much as yeast-leavened bread, its crumb consists of irregular and smaller cells, its taste is slightly sour and more flavorful, it is more digestible and it keeps better.

Choose: bread with a firm, golden and fairly thick crust, and a tender crumb.

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